Vulnerable and sweet but tinged with darkness, Julie Kathryn’s Americana noir songs are unavoidably personal. The rawness of her lyrics is amplified by her vocal style – Julie knows allows her rich alto to drift into a whisper at just the right moment.
A former social worker, Kathryn has dedicated herself full time to music for two years, but you’d never know she’s a rookie. She exudes maturity and youth all at the same time. Broken Love EP, Julie’s latest recording, is out now. And we have the exclusive premiere of her new music video for “Let This Be” right here on Crushable. It’s a perfect combination of Julie’s emotional lyrics and simple, striking images.
Read on for our interview with Julie Kathryn, and to see her brand new video!
Did you always know you wanted music to be your career?
On a deep level, I always knew I was meant to sing and play music – I guess it took me a little while to fully accept it. I’ve been musical my whole life, but I definitely pursued other interests, career-wise. I figured music would be my side job. Over time, though, that pull towards music kept getting stronger. Eventually, it was the only thing I could see myself ever doing. Right now I feel really grateful and blessed to be following this path.
How does your experience as a social worker inform your music?
People ask me that a lot. My job as a social worker was to help people who were grappling with homelessness, drug addiction, incarceration – real, major life issues. My songs, as you’ve probably gathered, are about things like relationships and heartbreak and family. I do occasionally address larger social issues in my music, but for the most part I don’t find myself drawing directly from my social work experience; my songs are definitely more personal. That said, I do think that being a social worker heightened my overall emotional awareness and put me in touch with the human condition – which is always helpful when you’re writing songs that are meant to evoke emotion in a listener.
Who are a few of your favorite artists to listen to?
Right now I’m listening to Antony and the Johnsons, The National, and also Norah Jones’ new record. And I always keep some of my all-time faves in the mix – Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits… a lot of classic songwriters.
What is your writing process like?
My favorite songs are the ones that seem to appear in my head, fully formed, within a matter of seconds. Those are the times I feel most inspired. Other times, I labor over a song, doing lots of edits and revisions until it feels right. I have a wonderful songwriting mentor, Tony Conniff, who coaches a lot of songwriters in the New York City scene.
What would you say has been your biggest break so far?
Hmmm… that’s a tough one. I’ve only been able to fully dedicate myself to music for the last two years. It’s been a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work, but I don’t think I’ve actually gotten a big break yet. I’ll keep you posted! I will say that I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists along the way.
What’s coming up for you? Where can we expect to see you next?
You can definitely find me playing some of my favorite spots in New York. I’ll be at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 on the Lower East Side on November 11 at 9:30pm. I’m playing that show with my good friend Silbin Sandovar – you should check him out. I’m also considering creating a series of new music videos. I’m really excited about the video we’re premiering today for my song “Let This Be” off my new EP “Broken Love”. It was a wonderful experience to film this project in such a natural setting, and I think my director Josh Franer did a great job matching beautiful and peaceful images with a song that’s very personal to me. So I would say definitely stay tuned for more collaborations of this nature in the future!
For more on Julie, check out her website.